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#BeActive: The power of sport & physical activity
This year, UK Active have created a new campaign: The Great British Week of Sport, which is being held from 19th- 27th September. This week is all about celebrating the power of physical activity on our physical, mental and social wellbeing. The theme is #BeActive and is encouraging everyone to highlight what being active means to them, sharing stories and inspiration for others!
We spoke to a friend and colleague of ours from South Gloucestershire Council about what being active means to him, how he has adapted during coronavirus and how he exercising makes him feel. We hope this provides some inspiration for those who may be struggling to maintain motivation during these difficult and uncertain times, and highlights the importance of finding an activity you enjoy!
"Being active has meant different things to me at different stages of my life. I was rubbish at sport in school until I discovered late in my teens that I could run a bit. This led to twenty years as a club and county athlete, followed by sixteen years competing internationally in the masters ranks. During this time, competition and training for competition was everything; I didn’t really think about health, ironic as I now work in public health!
“In my late fifties, after a tenth operation (see previous note about not thinking about health), I decided that it was time to retire from running and take up open water swimming. At first I tried to replicate my former running competitiveness in swimming and although I made progress it didn’t really work, mainly because I’m not a fast enough swimmer!
“My 64th birthday was during lockdown and suddenly there was nowhere to swim, so I increased my home-based core stability sessions and dusted off my old road bike, which has been a godsend. Since the lakes opened up again, I’ve been booking my swim sessions and keeping up cycling and core work, which means I’m exercising more often now than I have done for many years. Working at home and not commuting has made it easier to build more activity into my day, although my step count is much lower.
“There will be another change coming soon when darkness will make cycling and open water swimming more tricky to arrange but I’ll deal with that when it comes. The pools should be open soon. There’s always something you can do if you really want to.
“After all these years, with retirement on the horizon, being active is finally about health for me now: delaying the ageing process (or some if it), keeping the heart healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, being mindful, enjoying the outdoors… I guess I’m practising what I preach at last!”
Get involved with the Great British Week of Sport this week on social media by sharing your #BeActive story!
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